Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Garden club meeting coming up TONIGHT, August 15th at the Ag Extension office.

Posted Sunday, August 10, 2014, at 5:07 PM
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  • I forgot to mention the cushaw squash plant dominating one whole row that includes a bitter melon, tomatoes, yellow squash and soybeans. This is the first year I grew it and I had no idea how much real estate it would take up, nor did I think my yellow squash would still e going strong.

    BUT the BIG real estate hog is the banana squash! Runners at least 30 feet and STILL wanting more. I am now cutting the vines to keep it out of the lawn. Those things sure better be good when it comes to eating!

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Aug 10, 2014, at 10:49 AM
  • As a "sweetener" for the meeting, I've added this 406 page book by Walter Glenn and Lark Foster, "Tennessee Gardener's Guide". All you gotta do is show up and be there to put your name in the "hat".

    I think I am going to add that only those who have NOT won in the last six months be eligible. Next meeting could be another book by James Underwood Crockett, but that could change, so keep watchin' folks.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Aug 10, 2014, at 7:31 PM
  • Wow, Mr. Mills big success means a larger harvest you know! Any chance we might get some samples?

    My little garden patch is still "bug free", it has to be that wintergreen oil in the seaweed fertilizer, I'm a believer for sure! Thanks for that earlier ingredient input Steve & Pam it was extremely helpful. I'll definitely bring first harvest samples for us all to try.

    My tomatoes are amazingly beautiful to the point that I may be "garden giddy" for the first time in my life.

    All the sudden I have like 9 oblong, (like a Roma tomato) zebra striped, healthy looking tomatoes on my middle plant (#3) and the orange colored, sweet cherries are filling the vines on the #1 plant. I've tasted a sample of the orange ones that came early and they are like eating fine cuisine, sweet, luscious and full of the perfect flavor.

    The #5 plant that broke early in the season, is tall, doing real well and full of larger oblong blossoms, it adapted wonderfully to its broken weakness, so by the shape and size of those blossoms my anticipation may overwhelm my patience to the point of pacing and waiting to see the fruit that comes from them.

    #2 and #4 are getting several blossoms yet they both seem slow to produce them, but if they follow suit they will have me joyfully jumping soon enough.

    Betwixt the beautiful birds on the feeder and the small garden patch success, I can say with subtle comfort that next year will be even better.

    This year has been exciting for gardening along with the new friends I've made at the meetings that have helped to nurture my interest. I am totally humbled to have such nice creative, inspiring folks surrounding my interest in gardening. If you only new what you have naturally done, in just being yourself, to be so rewarding in this guys life...Thanks Y'all!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Sun, Aug 10, 2014, at 8:13 PM
  • Glad to hear old #5 survived.

    If my 'maters don't start ripening soon, I may resort to the tactic of shocking the plants by cutting the roots. But with this hot dry spell, that might kill them, so I will trim them back substantially first.

    Does your tablet have a video mode? Maybe we can see those birds using the projector Friday evening.

    I wonder if the wintergreen would make it less attractive to cats? When we use it in the garden, they seem to dig around the plant trying to find the source of the fish smell.

    I also wonder if I can add it to my existing fish emulsion? I would assume so, but.....

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Aug 10, 2014, at 9:13 PM
  • I'll see if it does...it might help if I get a better video first...it's been spooking them so don't depend on it...who knows I might get lucky and get a decent one and hopefully with that Scarlet Tanger.....

    Numerous plants produce methyl salicylate (Wintergreen oil)as a natural defence against some insects and also acts a recruitment for beneficial insects that kill herbivorous insects according to Wikipedia.


    you can buy the oil made from a natural source


    If I only new what strength and how much for a gallon of water or something....might have to experiment.....some plants naturally produce it like: (from wiki)

    Some species of the genus Gaultheria in the family Ericaceae, including Gaultheria procumbens, the wintergreen or eastern teaberry;

    some species of the genus Betula in the family Betulaceae, particularly those in the subgenus Betulenta such as B. lenta, the black birch;

    all species of the genus Spiraea in the family Rosaceae, also called the meadowsweets.

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Mon, Aug 11, 2014, at 9:49 AM
  • It's all Greek to me though!...may be easier next season to just find out what was used and use some..

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Mon, Aug 11, 2014, at 9:55 AM
  • Alaska Fish Fertilizer 5-1-1

    Natural Organic Based

    Great For All Indoor and Outdoor Plants

    Deodorized with Wintergreen Oil

    Won't Burn

    By Lilly Miller Brands


    Purchased, I believe, from Lowe's

    Overall I have been exceedingly pleased with the fertilization, ease of use and value.....Although it, I believe, was initially pricy it has gone a long way having lasted me two years so far and I still have a lot left.

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Mon, Aug 11, 2014, at 2:57 PM
  • If something works well for you, I would continue on. Two years plus sounds pretty good.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Aug 11, 2014, at 7:25 PM
  • Thanks Palindrome,.... Your the best!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Mon, Aug 11, 2014, at 8:09 PM
  • Keep in mind....I use it only for watering seedlings in it's diluted form until the time of transplant and then hit them with everything in the book for rapid growth and flower/fruit production. I would never use it as an all purpose fertilizer because it is primarily Nitrogen. I also use it for all foliage houseplants.

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Tue, Aug 12, 2014, at 2:59 PM
  • I wonder if that is why those tomatoes plants you gave me went dormant for a while? I rarely do any supplemental feeding and maybe they were spoiled.

    They are kicking in now but I still can't tell when some of these blue guys are ripe.

    My bitter melon are just now starting to have babies.

    The banana squash are humongous. I would bet 4- 5 meals for three out of each squash.

    I pulled my first yellow squash plant today. It was starting to show stress from the dry conditions up here and some other plants really wanted to have their chance so.... out it came.

    I've never had that problem before.

    The cushaw squash pulled down the supports I had given it. Two tomato cages and a wood rod between them could not keep it up. I will let it continue on the ground but may need to cut the tomato cage off it.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Aug 12, 2014, at 6:57 PM
  • Well, I did mention several times...." These plants need to be fed " but I also remember you were inside during most of the tomato show and may have missed the instruction......

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Tue, Aug 12, 2014, at 9:24 PM
  • I'm taking pictures so I'll have a few to show whats doing what...Thanks for the info Palindrome its be very helpful...I dusted some very large okra and fried them crisp from dad's garden tonight...they were kinda stringy, but the flavor was wonderful. I had actually sliced them lengthwise in eighths and fried them real crisp...the stringiness seemed to fade as they cooled.

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Wed, Aug 13, 2014, at 12:30 AM
  • You are right, I missed any instructions. I don't carry much more than fish, but I should have found a way to do it without our pets paying a LOT of attention to the area.

    Speaking of pets, we now have eleven 3-4 week old kittens. Orange, black, grey tabby and one siamese looking with blue eyes.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Aug 13, 2014, at 8:25 AM
  • Steve.....

    Soon you will be a Nursery Rhyme with all those kittens......

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Wed, Aug 13, 2014, at 10:20 AM
  • You mean I have not earned that yet? I love having the cats (and kittens) around (even though I am allergic to them) but really would love to share the wealth with anyone who seriously wants a forever companion. ;-)

    I say that because I would rather keep them than hand them off to a shelter or someone who isn't serious. BUT I might offer them with a limited "return policy". If it does not work out, bring them back to us before they're dropped off somewhere or go to the shelter.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Aug 13, 2014, at 10:38 AM
  • Is the siamese one a girl....can you send me a photo?...chefgrape@yahoo.com

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Wed, Aug 13, 2014, at 11:20 AM
  • As a matter of fact, she is a girl. She is one of our youngest and not ready to go but I will ask her to pose the next time I bring her into the house.

    We want them to stay with Mom for another few weeks. Supposedly helps build up her immunity to feed on mother's milk.

    I believe she will look similar to the one in this post four years ago. http://www.t-g.com/blogs/stevemills/entry/37135 I just realized the coincidence of the current two being black and one white and so was this litter.

    Different mother and father but still related to Big Boy, the grown cat in the middle.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Aug 13, 2014, at 11:53 AM
  • Yes when you get a chance I'd like to see what she looks like...Thanks my friend.

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Thu, Aug 14, 2014, at 9:07 AM
  • She and her brother have been avoiding me the past two days. Maybe it is the hundred pound dog that insists on being my shadow when i go to check on them.

    PITA just does not understand why a little 1 pound kitten is scared of her. When in rained the other day they came into the greenhouse all wet and PITA was licking them and rolling them at the same time. It was hard for them to appreciate that she was trying to care for them, not eat them.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Aug 14, 2014, at 8:20 PM
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